In sports, it’s almost inevitable now that the day after a championship is won people are already predicting who will win the next championship. Why should politics be any different? Even though we are just over a week removed from the end of the 2014 cycle, Politico is already looking at the top ten most competitive Senate races of the 2016 cycle. Don’t look now Colorado Lefties, but Sen. Michael Bennet is among them. Even though Bennet comes in at number nine, just ahead of Sen. John McCain, that should give little comfort to Colorado Democrats. As late as mid-September The Washington Post listed Sen. Mark Udall as only the 10th likeliest seat to flip. We all know how that turned out.
As Politico writes about the race:
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has an impressive donor network; he’s set to depart as chairman of the DSCC after its best fundraising cycle ever. And unlike senior Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who just lost to GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, Bennet won’t be caught off-guard.
Democrats also believe they benefit from a growing population of Hispanic and younger voters who turn out in bigger numbers in presidential election years.
Potential challengers include Rep. Mike Coffman, who just crushed former Democratic Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff; state Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel; prosecutor George Brauchler, who has been in the news for leading the case against the Aurora theater shooter; former state Rep. Rob Witwer; former Interior Secretary Gale Norton; and state Sen. Ellen Roberts.
After Bennet survived the 2010 cycle by the skin of his teeth, it should be no surprise that he is on this list. His vulnerability is compounded by the Northeast, elitist stench that still sticks to him from his many years and many ties to the area. Not to mention his delivery is akin to South Park’s Mr. Mackey (“mmkay?”). You put any half decent speaker up against Bennet in a debate and Mr. Marbles in the Mouth is going to look like the silver-spoon chomping, Northeasterner that he is.
While 2016 is still a long way off, many Colorado Republicans may start eyeing Bennet as an easy target. Sure, Bennet may be a prodigious fundraiser, but as Udall showed this year, all the money in the world can’t save you if you’re a bad candidate.
Being attached to such a partisan organization as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee won’t be looked upon favorably either. The naked partisan attacks by Bennet and the DSCC reveal just how political craven Bennet was in trying to keep hold of the Senate. With negative approval numbers already, the #copolitics crowd has got to wonder, does Michael Bennet already have one foot in the political grave?